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What is an operational audit?

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An operational audit is a process by which an independent auditor assesses the internal policies and organizational efficiency of a given company or organization by subjective metrics meant to evaluate future performance, according to California State University. These audits are often conducted voluntarily based on a company's wish to improve a certain area of its organizational structure or to assess what is being done correctly and incorrectly in terms of internal protocols.

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Operational audits may be conducted for a number of reasons. They can help determine an organization's future viability and ability to adapt to meet challenges. Audits can generate information useful in changing and updating an organization's structure.

The efficiency of management comes under special scrutiny in an operational audit. Auditors assess how well the managerial structure is facilitating workflow and maintaining a reliable and content environment among workers. Managers not performing to code or engaging thoroughly enough with their employees can be identified and retrained or replaced.

Internal audits are a major part of the corporate world and are used to maintain standards in companies both large and small. They also help determine workaday solutions to small logistical problems and problems of efficiency by recommending ordering techniques, suppliers and other resources, according to California State University.

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